Thursday, February 4, 2010


I've been feeling quite discombobulated lately--I think it's just a function of all the changes that have been going on in my life lately with work and my schedule and traveling and whatnot. It's left me wanting to overhaul my closet, my decor, my LIFE!!

via Jordansuskind's Flikr page

I went through the closet and flushed out 7 bags worth of clothes for goodwill (which I valued at Goodwill's website at almost $500--heya tax deduction!). And now I am looking around my house feeling like nothing is cohesive or expressive of who I am and where I am going with my life!

One thing design-y folks recommend for defining your style or mood is creating an inspiration book or folder. Unfortunately, this can't be done immediately and I want instant results!! So I turned to the world of online style quizzes...

There is this one from HomeGoods, authored by the former editor of Domino, Deborah Needleman. It said I was Elegant Classic, which is fine and all, but it didn't really help me concretely.

Here is another one, this time from Ethan Allen. Incidentally, I have horrible memories of being stuck in this store for hours with my mom in the 80's. Eeech. Anyway, it has much improved in the decades since! It says I am "Villa/Verdigris," but last time I took it I believe I was "Metro/Groove." Harumpph. Whatever that means, I can't afford any of their furniture, but I super love this Rand Wing chair! Look at it from the side.

Then there is this one at Sproost, which says I am 55% Vintage Modern, 36% Southwest Style, and 9% Zen. I like it!!

Here is what is says about Vintage Modern:

Vintage Modern

Flea Market anyone? You know you are drawn to modern furniture and interiors, and yet you really don't like a space that feels cold and sterile. And who could blame you? And that's why Vintage Modern is so appealing to you. Though the backdrop of the room, the walls and windows, are many times white or monochromatic, the furniture and accessories have the color, shape and texture to bring the warmth into the space. The great thing about Vintage Modern is ease of mixing different styles in the one space. You can have a new modular sofa mixed with a great pair of chairs that your grandmother purchased in the late 1950's and the new and old work appear as though they were destined for each other. What's great is that even if you don't have time for swap meets and garage sales, so many of the pieces from the mid-century were so great that they have been remade and mimicked year after year.


The other great thing about Vintage Modern is how low maintenance it can be — fabrics such as cotton, microfiber or ultra-suede and leather all look great and function even better. So whether you are having a cocktail party with friends, or kids are in the picture, the room and the furnishings can handle it. Because the style harkens back to the early twentieth century, the innovative developed during that time are very popular: acrylic, plastic and fiberglass, chrome and steel, and molded plywood. Concrete floors, countertops and furniture are also very popular and lacquered finishes are very common.


When it comes to color, walls are seen as backdrops for the room. Neutral tones of gray, white, beige and brown are very common and black is a common accent color. Pops of color on the art, furniture and accessories can vary dramatically based on the person, however very common colors are teal blues, army greens and yellow as well as deep oranges and bright reds.

And here is what it says about Southwestern Style:

Southwestern Style

Though the new frontier may no longer be so new, the styles design that evolved in those regions are making a comeback. The Southwestern home has Spanish and Mexican as well as Native American influences. Earthy textures and tones and vibrant colors create warm and inviting spaces. When you hear Southwest you most likely think of desert landscapes and hot, dry environments. The rugged nature of the exterior translates literally and the pieces in the home have a similar sturdy and rustic feel. Neutral backgrounds mimicking sand and earth are livened up with handmade pottery in bright colors and woven rugs and baskets.

"There are distinct characteristics in the southwestern style that can easily be explained by imagining a desert scene. Picture all colors of the desert, the green of cactus, the red mountains of the Grand Canyon, and the Native American heritage that comes from the Arizona, New Mexico regions of the United States.

There are two types of southwestern style. The all natural organic version, with over scaled furniture made from log pole, and the use of rugged materials such as iron, stones and wood. Then the city version of southwestern with plastic cactus decorations and wall hangings, coyote figurines and the use of peach and teal coloring.


Textures and natural materials are essential in Southwest Style. Pine is a very popular wood, though there are many different rustic woods that work very well. Other natural materials such as leather, suede and animal hides as well as cotton, hemp, linen and wool are very popular and help reinforce the rustic aspect of the style. Pewter and wrought iron work well and natural stone and terra cotta tiles are very common. The main pieces in the room are subtle in color and texture and much of the color and interest is brought in through the rugs and accessories. Nail head trims are common, as is leather fringe. Cowboy themes are very popular and oftentimes you will see scenes depicted on throws and pillows and accessories.


For color — think of the primary colors: red, blue and yellow. Earth tones such as brown, reds, and yellows are very common. Rooms have neutral backdrops with pops of vibrant colors in the rugs and accessories. Turquoise is also very popular because of its roots in Native American jewelry and many times you will see green brought in with actual potted plants and cactus.

I think this is one of the best style quizzes I've taken...what does it say about you? Is it on the mark?? There are a TON more out there...did I miss any that are good?

1 comment:

Michelle / When I Grow Up Coach said...

This won't give you instant instant results, but I'm working through Style Statement by Carrie McCarthy and Danielle LaPorte and it might be just what you're looking for. Definitely recommend it if you're not averse to answering a zillion questions about yourself and doing some detective work. :)